What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work?

Young woman holding money in front of her face

Affiliate marketing is a well-known method of marketing that entails referring people to a product via your affiliate link. You’ll receive a commission from the affiliate program if a sale is made.

How much income can you make as an affiliate marketer? That, my friend, is up to you. Many people have quit their jobs because they are earning enough to put more effort into their online endeavors.

You have to start small and build this business over time. If you put in the time and effort, you will reap the rewards.

The returns are generally directly proportional to your actions; massive action will result in massive profits.

So how do you become an affiliate marketer? Keep reading and find out.

4 steps to becoming an Affiliate Marketer

Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1 – Join an Affiliate Program

Luckily, there is no shortage of affiliate programs to choose from.

The range of products is mind-boggling extensive, so you will undoubtedly be able to find something you know and are interested in (e.g., cameras) or stuff that you are already using yourself (e.g., clothing).

Step 2 – Choose a Product to Promote

Of course, no product is off the table, but I think that you should choose a product that resonates with you, either because you are familiar with it or actually use it yourself.

For instance, I’m keen on photography and have quite a high level of knowledge in this topic, so I find it easy to write enthusiastically about everything related to photography.

Of course, you can’t take a photo without the tools, so I’ve got a large choice of cameras, lenses, flashes, tripods, etc., as potential products to sell by way of my affiliate links in my blog posts.

This is a potent medium once you get your head around implementing it effectively.

Step 3 – Share your Affiliate Link

If you want to receive that affiliate commission, you’ll need to make sure you promote products via your affiliate links.

When you sign up at any affiliate program, you’ll receive your own unique affiliate ID, which will be embedded in your affiliate link.

To be eligible for a commission, you need to have customers buy a product via your unique affiliate URL.

This can be achieved by exposing your link to as many people as possible via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, banners, and last but not least, your blogs.

Step 4 – Use Blogs, Social Media and YouTube to Advertise

To get sales, you need to get eyeballs on your product (via your link), so here are some of the most popular ways of advertising and promoting your online business.

Blogs: these types of websites can be very cheap & easy to set up and get off the ground. The most popular blogging platforms are WordPress, which has free and paid options. Though the paid version of hosting your unique domain is the most popular for the long-term blogger. By blogging regularly about your chosen niche can earn you a decent income in a relatively short time if done correctly.

Social Media: there is no denying that social media is has a strong influence on our lives. The dominant ones like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, and Whatsapp are pivotal to the success of many online entrepreneurs.

Youtube is a compelling medium that can potentially propel your business from obscurity to stardom overnight. Incorporating Youtube into your advertising repertoire will pay dividends. Again, your videos must answer a question or help solve a problem to gain a following. Once your channel gets traction, it can increase your sales tenfold.

Some Common Affiliate Marketing Terminology

Affiliate ID – a unique ID that you should use to promote products and allows you to receive a commission.

Affiliate Link is a tracking link that you should use to promote products and receive a commission.

Affiliate Manager – affiliate managers are available to help affiliates with promotion efforts.

Affiliate Marketplace – many marketplaces exist which work as databases for a variety of affiliate programs across all niches (e.g., Clickbank & Shareasale)

Custom Link – affiliate links are undeniably evident and often banned from many forums or advertising platforms. Overusing them on your blogs can also be very spammy and low rankings. Taking advantage of services like ‘Pretty Links‘ you can mask your affiliate URL with a unique non-spammy one.

Landing Page – a product sales which can help increase sales because it is less spammy than going directly to your affiliate link from your blog. It also is used to build subscribers that you can use follow-up messages by utilizing an autoresponder.

Payment Method – each affiliate program will have its preferred way to payout commissions to its affiliates. Popular methods are Paypal and check.

Commission Percentage – the commission percentage varies considerably, depending on the program, your level in the program, and the type of sales you are procuring.

Is a Blog Necessary?

While blogs are not necessary, I believe in creating a blog or blogs that offer high-quality content optimized for the readers, rather than only SEO.

Of course, SEO is essential, but if you make keyword-stuffed spammy blog posts, you will be penalized by Google, and it’ll be challenging to rank your website high in the search results.

Other advertising methods like Google and Facebook PPC, banner ads, etc., can be utilized, but in the end, a quality blog will serve you well in the long run.

Your best way to make regular sales through affiliate marketing is to blog quality, informative and helpful content as often as possible.

Follow the Steps

If you can follow the four steps above and do your due diligence, you’ll be able to build up growing a sustainable and satisfying online business that can, at the very least, enhance your lifestyle.

Better still, you should be able to break away from the shackles of a regular job and take control of your financial situation. All the best!

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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